What is the setting of Journey to the Center of the Earth, and why is it important?
The setting begins in Germany, where Professor Lidenbrock lives with his nephew, Axel. They journey to Iceland, where they have learned lies the entrance of a passage to the center of the earth. The story takes the two men, along with their guide Hans, through the subterranean passages that lead to an underground world. In this world they find an ocean, along with dinosaurs and prehistoric men.
The setting is important, of course, because it provides the way along which they journey. It has hidden dangers in abundance, and there is no quick escape route along the way (until the very end). These dangers move the plot along by providing adventures for the travelers, which they always manage to escape. Unlike many of Jules Verne’s stories, the scientific background for this passage to the center of the earth is unfounded. It is now believed that the earth is molten rock for much of the center, making such a passage impossible. Yet much of the geology has some scientific basis, and thus gives the illusion of scientific truth.